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Does Otezla cause depression?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 7, 2023.

Official answer


Otezla may lower a person's mood, cause depression, and increase suicidal thoughts. Research has shown approximately 1% of people treated with Otezla for psoriatic arthritis reported depression or a depressed mood compared with 0.8% of those treated with an inactive treatment. The risk was slightly higher for those with psoriasis, with 1.3% reporting a lower mood compared with 0.8% treated with placebo. 0.3% of people with psoriatic arthritis and 0.1% of people with psoriasis discontinued treatment because of the depression. There was not any difference in the rates of depression for those treated with Otezla for Behçet’s disease.

Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness; a loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable; and appetite or sleep changes. Tell your doctor if you have ever had problems with mood or depression before starting Otezla. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any signs of worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mood changes. Your family members should also help to monitor you for these changes.

  • Otezla (apremilast) [Package Insert]. Updated 06/2020. Amgen Inc

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